Grandma Riley’s Banana Cake

Total Time

Prep: 15 min. Bake: 25 min. + cooling


12 servings

Updated: Jun. 30, 2023
This favorite recipe has been passed down through my husband’s family. His grandmother wrote this out for me shortly after we were married. She copied it from a recipe that her mother had written out for her many years before. These handwritten treasures in my recipe box bring back so many fond memories. —Jamie Dunn, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Grandma Riley's Banana Cake Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3 mashed ripe bananas
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Dash of salt


  1. Cream sugar and shortening together; add eggs and vanilla. Mix in buttermilk and mashed bananas.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, soda, baking powder and salt; add to banana mixture and mix until ingredients are combined. Spoon into a greased 13x9-in. baking pan or two 9-in. round cake pans.
  3. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool cake for 30 minutes before frosting.
  4. For frosting, mix butter, confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth; add vanilla and salt. If frosting is too thick, add more milk 1 tsp. at a time until reaching desired consistency. Spread on warm banana cake.
Homemade buttermilk
For each cup of buttermilk, you can use 1 tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to measure 1 cup. Stir, then let stand for 5 minutes. You can also use 1 cup of plain yogurt or 1-3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar plus 1 cup milk.

Nutrition Facts

1 piece: 458 calories, 17g fat (7g saturated fat), 52mg cholesterol, 351mg sodium, 74g carbohydrate (54g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.